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Broome County Fair Celebrates 140 Years

Traci Taylor

The Broome County Fair has a history that goes back more than 150 years. Incorporated in 1851, the Broome County Agricultural Society board members got together in 1871 to make arrangements for the first of many fairs that would celebrate the agricultural of Broome county.

Did you know that for the for the first three years, the Broome County Fair was held at its current location on Route 11 in Whitney Point, but then for the next ten years, it was held in Binghamton? Whitney Point residents weren’t so happy and refused to accept the fair as a true Broome County Fair when it was held in Binghamton.

The fair committee took notice of the unhappiness and in 1891, the fair returned to Whitney Point, where it has been held every year since except for the four summers of World War II, 1942-1945, when no fair was held.

Over the years, the Broome County Fair has held many different events. For instance, in the summer of 1934 the fair opened with a baseball game between the Brooklyn Royal Giants, the leading professional colored team and the nationally famous House of David. Grover Cleveland Alexander, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and one that many call one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, pitched for the House of David.

In 1915 a barn-storming airplane was part of the fair and took passengers for short flights. One of the passengers was a well known opera singer named Miss Julia Allen. During the flight the plane hit an air pocket and crashed. Luckily, neither the pilot or Miss Allen were injured.

And would you believe that weddings used to be part of the Broome County Fair? In the 1930s lots of people were married at the fair. Couples were given $100 and flowers and a minister were provided.

This year marks the 140th year of the Broome County Fair and festivities are planned from July 22nd through the 27th. Back this year is the Broome County Fair Parade!, demo derby, bull and bronc riding, mini-horse and pony pulls, a petting zoo and so much more.

Be sure to check out the complete schedule of fair events!

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